March 11, 2005
Jennifer Coolidge should be arrested. She should be incarcerated for stealing scenes in movies and TV shows.
On the NBC sitcom ‘‘Joey,’’ she is a thief whenever she enters a room as Joey Tribbiani’s outrageously funny agent, Bobbie Morganstern. She stole scenes as Stiffler’s mom in all three ‘‘American Pie’’ movies, as the manicurist Paulette opposite Reese Witherspoon in the ‘‘Legally Blonde’’ films and as the trophy wife of a 95-year-old man in the cult classic ‘‘Best in Show.’’
More recently, she swiped scenes from Hilary Duff in ‘‘A Cinderella Story’’ and from Jim Carrey in ‘‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.’’
Now, an animated version of Coolidge is stealing scenes in ‘‘Robots,’’ a family movie from the director who brought you the immensely popular ‘‘Ice Age.’’
In ‘‘Robots,’’ the 41-yearold Coolidge plays a robot named Aunt Fanny (the name is a play on the character’s super-sized posterior).
Q: Back in high school, what did you really what to be when you grew up?
A: I had to be an actress. Unlike some of other people in this town who can do many things well, I had no backup. I didn’t have anything else I was good at. Well, that’s not true; I was really good at the clarinet.
Q: You could have been in the band.
A: Yes, but I would have been the girl in the band with too much makeup and too much cleavage. It would have gone over like a lead balloon.
Q: Were you funny in high school?
A: Not really. I was kind of weird. I was such a daydreamer, and so in my own world, that I could have had a fried egg sandwich on my face in the cafeteria and not know it.
Q: Did your height (5-foot-10) affect any aspect of your life back then?
A: If you’re tall with long hair, you can be toothless and go over big with the boys.
Q: You’re not going to be one of those actresses who claim to have been unattractive when they were in high school, are you?
A: I did a couple of things right as far as guys were concerned, but I promise you that I got a lot of things wrong.
Q: After high school, did you move to New York to be a comic actress?
A: No, I moved there to be a serious actress.
Q: How did that work out for you?
A: It didn’t go very well. I told people I was an actress, but I was actually a cocktail waitress.
Sandra Bullock was the hostess at the same restaurant, and she eventually got my waitress shifts because I wasn’t showing up to work.
Q: How long before you earned a living as an actress?
A: My first big break was on ‘‘Seinfeld’’ (she was Jerry’s masseuse girlfriend who wouldn’t give him a massage).
From then on, I earned a living. It wasn’t much of a living, but I didn’t have to work as a waitress.
Q: Did your fortunes change with ‘‘Best in Show’’?
A: Actually, it was ‘‘American Pie.’’ All of a sudden, I was getting in doors that I couldn’t get in before. The kids all know me from ‘‘American Pie.’’
Q: Why did you do this animated film?
A: Because they called and asked me. People always think actors have a ton of roles to choose from.
Q: I’m not sure many actresses would have agreed to play a character with such a big butt.
A: I’ve never been afraid to play the fat girl eating the doughnut. I’ve made a career of taking roles that other actresses didn’t want. I have a knack for finding roles that can be funny, but I know that she’ll never be the pretty one. She’ll always be the goofy one.
Q: Do you want to be the pretty one?
A: I’d like to be the pretty one in one movie. I don’t think it’s fair that Charlize Theron looked bad for one movie and then got to go back to looking like a supermodel. It’s harder to be the girl who stays the monster.
Q: So, you’re waiting for your ‘‘Monster’’?
A: At this point, I’d settle for my ‘‘Booty Call.’’